We’re Gonna Make it After All

WelcomeFour days ago, I arrived in a new country. When I made the decision to come here, I felt really unsure if I had made the right decision. I felt sad leaving my job at the children’s hospital. I felt scared about what would happen at the end of my three month commitment to work in the Cayman Islands. I felt overwhelmed by the fact that I had upended my life in the span of weeks.

Since I have been on this island, I have felt calm. I have seen stars and sat in stillness, which yes, felt more difficult than I thought it would. I have laughed. I have eaten breakfast with chickens. I have learned about the miracle tree that lives across the street from my little studio.


That is not to say that I haven’t felt nervousness, discomfort, and frustration. On Tuesday, I stepped into clinical work here. For the past several years, I have been walking into the hospital rooms of children, and working with those children and their families. Here, I was walking into schools, seeing groups of children with various disabilities. I haven’t worked with that population in years. On Monday night, I found myself scared that I would be mediocre at best, disorganized and not at all helpful at worst.

I had no other choice but to jump in.

And I made it through.

I had some moments I loved: seeing the smiles of children as the music reached them; watching children with limited mobility reach their hands high to the sky to shake an egg shaker; watching kids take ownership over their music therapy experience as they helped their peers. I had some moments that challenged me: a group with children moving about, as I tried to figure out how to organize and contain with music; working in a room with many distractions, leaving me feeling like I was having difficulty focusing on how the music could be therapeutic.

And I made it through.

Of course, new environments can come with unexpected challenges. During an individual session at the school, one of the lights in the room suddenly went dark. I continued on with the session, unsure of what was happening. As I walked out of the room to return the child to his class, I found the hallway that had led us to our session was suddenly blocked off by a large metal door. The darkened light was actually due to the fact that the power had gone out.

On the entire island.

I was assured that this hardly happens at this point, which I was glad for, as navigating a school with several hallways that were blocked off by the metal was rather challenging (I’m still trying to understand that safety measure). As was restocking instruments in a closet with no light (thank goodness for my supervisor’s flashlight app on her phone).

And I made it through.


I’m sure that this won’t be the last unexpected moment I find myself maneuvering in the Cayman Islands. Sometimes the challenges are the ones that live in our heads. Sometimes the challenges are in the island-wide power outage that closes all of the schools early.

Regardless, I’ll make it through. 


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